Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Who I'm voting for tomorrow ...
I was going to do a longer, more considered post on the UK General Election tomorrow, as I think it's going to be a fairly key one, almost certainly marking the end of 13 years of fairly unfettered Labour power.
However, a quick splash of wine onto my MacBook last weekend means I must rush my contribution to the debate.
I doubt this will really sway anyone's views, and I doubt my decision is going to be a huge surprise, so I'll begin by saying who I'm not going for.
I did a recent 'who you should vote for' survey and it marked me as a natural Green supporter (somewhat more accurate than the Telegraph's VoteMatch which declared I was SNP!) - indeed, I have gone for Green as my second vote in the Holyrood Elections, and will probably do again next year. However, in a UK election still fought on First Past the Post and where there appears to be no less than three different Green Parties standing it's a no-no. Especially as no Green candidate has bothered to stand in my constituency.
UKIP and BNP - largely English predilections - I imagine they only stand outside England to make up numbers of some sort. Scotland particularly is much more comfortable with , if not actively pro-Europe and pro-immigration, so those two are on a hiding to nothing here. Again though, none standing in my seat.
The Conservatives are also in an odd place in Scotland, mainly because of the factors I outlined above which also play well with natural Tory voters but show why they only have one seat to defend up here and aren't certain of even keeping that. No Cameronian swing has been detected here. In the 2006 by-election here in Dunfermline & West Fife, the newly crowned Conservative leader visiting didn't stop their candidate losing her deposit. So a Tory vote is a pretty wasted one here, not that I was ever likely to be tempted.
SNP - suffering the 'incumbent' curse in Scotland after 3 years of minority administration in which they've actually managed to make their central independence aspiration less popular and squeezed lately by a surge to the Lib Dems which has transferred north of the border, I do see a vote for SNP as particularly irrelevant in a UK election - your MP of any colour is meant to be your local champion and I don't see why SNP and Welsh-only bedfellows can ignore that and pretend they're more local than anyone else (they're just centralised in different places). Plus, surely, the SNP really shouldn't be wasting its time and money on a Westminster Parliament they don't believe in - at least Sinn Fein don't bother turning up!
Labour - I think 2001 was the last time I could have brought myself to vote Labour. The Iraq issue made it out of the question in 2005. I had hopes that the removal of Tony Blair with someone with less style and more substance (and someone who immediately removed the 'New' suffix from all Labour logos) was worth a try. By ducking a General Election he'd have won in autumn 2007, Gordon Brown let the Tories creep up the polls and has frankly stumbled in ways he really should know better on from the 10p tax row to bigging up Simon Cowell and his works (that really worked didn't it). So if Brown can't even be trusted to keep the Tories out, but also praises their supporters and largely follows their political instincts, it's not going to be Gordon. Sorry.
Now here, at least I can claim here that I haven't suddenly warmed to the Liberal Democrats because of the 'Cleggmania' following the first of the three debates, and which has only slightly abated since. In fact, he's no Charles Kennedy and their policies have, if anything, drifted away from me slightly - in fact one policy actually targets my job rather specifically!
The real reason for my voting Lib Dem tomorrow is to bring about a hung parliament and (I hope) subsequent voting reform, ideally to a PR system. Really I'm with the 'hung parliament' party I suppose, as I think that progressive change and co-operation are best borne from that in the short to medium term, with another General Election under PR in the longer term.
Anyway, said my bit now - feel free to get back to the porn...